One of the first rules we learned in kindergarten was that the girls’ bathrooms were for girls and that the boys’ bathrooms were for boys. Fifty years later, apparently, everything has changed. Now, anyone who insists that what we knew to be true 50 years ago, what we knew to be true for thousands of years, what we knew from common (shared) human experience, from nature, is to be considered a bigot. Insisting on this difference is considered by some to be so heinous that they are threatening economic boycotts of the state of North Carolina, who recently re-asserted the traditional policy. Aging rockers Bruce Springsteen and Ringo Starr, to name two, have cancelled an upcoming tours to North Carolina in protest of the law. A recent video interview of some representative university students highlights the problem. Political correctness tells them (and thus they told us) that we must regard a person as belonging to whatever gender he or she chooses. To illustrate the absurdity of this position, the interviewer asked the students if they were willing to regard him (a 5′ 6″ Caucasian) as if he were a 6’5″ Asian. They hesitated. Why? Because it was obviously contrary to fact. At a certain point even politically correct university students had to draw a line, they had to stand boldly for the proposition that their sense experience is generally reliable and that sense experience informed them that their interviewer simply was not a 6’5″ Asian man.
Why, then, do they capitulate to the demand that we regard males as females and vice versa? Politics and rage. They have learned to survive in a radically, if selectively nominalist environment, in which the relation between the sign male or the sign female and the thing signified as been broken. It does not take very many encounters with an enraged LGBT advocate or very many strident lectures from a prof or very many warnings from the university administration about creating a “hostile environment” or stories about kangaroo courts in which students are charged of offenses against political correctness to convince a 19-year-old to talk nonsense for the sake of getting a degree. That’s just the politics of intimidation and rage. “Affirm my self-identity or face my rage.”